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Global efforts to mitigate climate change are ramping up, with a rising numbers of countries, companies and financiers taking action to tackle climate change. At the same time, climate changes, such as temperature and weather changes, are increasing, with dramatic impacts on populations. These are having material impacts on the economy and society. In the short term, dealing with this transition has materialised primarily in a focus on the decarbonisation of the energy systems. In the medium to long term, this will extend to virtually all sectors and segments of society.

In this context, the just transition agenda has taken centre stage. It aims to lower the risks faced by the most affected and vulnerable stakeholders, such as working people, small businesses and low-income communities, while providing an opportunity to maximise the development of new opportunities and redress historical injustices.

Establishing a credible fact base is paramount for designing and implementing an evidence-based just transition. To allow easy access to a growing body of work on just transition, TIPS has curated relevant content into an open knowledge portal. This provides short summaries as well as key findings and recommendations from a diversity of reports, strategies, videos and podcasts. The knowledge portal focuses on South Africa but will be extended to other areas in the future.

The portal is a living initiative. Should you know of additional resources which could be added or spot any errors, please contact Lerato Monaisa at lerato@tips.org.za

Featured material

Just transitions and the green economy - navigating the fault lines

SUMMARY: The paper frames the Just Transition from a moral and business perspective. It assesses how much responsibility companies and organisations should have for the impact their clients have on

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National employment vulnerability assessment: analysis of potential climate change-related impacts and vulnerable groups

SUMMARY: The report provides a detailed analysis of the capacity of vulnerable communities, workers and businesses to adjust to climate change-related impacts in the coal, metals, transport-based petroleum, agricultural value

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Down to zero: The politics of Just Transition

SUMMARY: This book looks at the anticipated impact of climate change and the experiences of millions of people who are facing a climate disaster, focusing on Southern and South Africa.

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Unlocking a just energy transition for SA

SUMMARY: Professor Mark Swilling discusses the global renewable energy revolution, the public sector’s role in investment in renewables and how renewable energy has the potential to change social politics and

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Implementing coal transitions - Insights from case studies of major coal-consuming economies

  • Institution / Author: The Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) and Climate Strategies [Sartor, O.]
  • Year: 2018
  • Sectoral focus: Coal, Energy
  • Thematic focus: Green and just recovery, Policy interventions / recommendations, Risk / vulnerability assessment
  • Type of analysis: Desktop research, Modelling, Stakeholder engagement
  • Type of document: Research report

SUMMARY: The report explores pathways to implement coal transitions and summarises key findings from case studies in six countries (China, India, Poland, Germany, Australia and South Africa). The report also draws from findings in earlier phases of the project, including global analysis of the impact of coal transitions on steam coal trade and analysis of past coal and industrial transitions in over 10 countries, as well as political economy aspects of coal.

KEY FINDING / RECOMMENDATIONS: Coal transitions are already happening. Due to both climate and non-climate policy factors, global coal consumption is likely to reverse in the early 2020s. The analysis of the techno-economic scenario required to stay below 2°C temperature increases for all six countries showed that by 2040-2050 coal can be replaced with a portfolio of alternative energy sources. Coal transitions can strengthen global climate action and deliver other social and economic objectives. In South Africa, diversification from coal in the power sector would help reduce the cost of supplying electricity while limiting the risk of cross-subsidisation of the power sector by the coal export sector.

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